Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter

Please leave this field empty
Help make a difference.Donate Now
Print   Bookmark and Share

Food and Nutrition

Take Action Now!
Join our Advocacy Network and receive periodic alerts to take action.

Did You Know?

DC has the third highest rate of child food insecurity in the country.

There is only one major chain grocery store in Ward 8-the poorest ward.

Learn More

Facts and Figures

Sources of Nutritious, Affordable Food

Explore the Issues

More Resources

The Problem

One in eight DC households struggles to keep enough food on the table. About 10,000 sometimes can't. At the same time, obesity rates and related health problems are increasing. This is particularly true in high-poverty neighborhoods, where barriers to a healthy diet are more common.

Access to Nutritious Foods

Only small grocery stores, corner stores and carryouts are convenient for the majority of low-income residents to get to. These tend to have higher prices and a limited selection of foods needed for a healthful diet. Some would be ready to offer a wider variety of fresh foods if they perceived enough consumer demand and got help with sourcing and upgrades.


More than 101,000 DC residents regularly depend on food stamps for all or a portion of their food purchases. For a family of three, the maximum monthly food stamp benefit provides, on average, less than $1.92 per meal. So access to affordable sources of nutritious food and understanding of how to eat healthfully on the cheap are critical.

Though a relatively high percentage of eligible residents receive food stamps, only 43% of eligible workers do. Increasing the participation rate millions of dollars into the local economy. The District also has opportunities to expand participation in federally-funded nutrition programs for children.